CHAPTER FIVE: The Golden Locket
The introductory lines once again clear up the whole situation in a most pleasing manner:The little British army in East Africa, after suffering severe reverses at the hands of a numerically much superior force, was at last coming into its own. The German offensive had been broken and the Huns were now slowly and doggedly retreating along the railway to Tanga. The break in the German lines had followed the clearing of a section of their left-flank trenches of native soldiers by Tarzan and Numa, the lion, upon that memorable night that the ape-man had loosed a famishing man-eater among the superstitious and terror-stricken blacks. The Second Rhodesian Regiment had immediately taken possession of the abandoned trench and from this position their flanking fire had raked contiguous sections of the German line, the diversion rendering possible a successful night attack on the part of the balance of the British forces.To make it brief: what our little Mr. Burroughs imagines the conquest of German East Africa to be like (This refers to a German saying, "What little Moritz imagines it to be like" meaning the stupid picture of a naive, little boy has of reality. W.A.)
After his latest heroic deed Tarzan has disappeared. He is roving about the German lines, for his latest wish is to get Bertha Kircher who evidently must be a German spy. On one occasion he overheard a conversation of some German officers and learns -- that Major Schneider had not been his wife's murderer after all. But the fact of having tortured and killed an innocent man in the most cruel manner, does not affect him in the least. for he was nothing but a German. However, the thought that captain Schneider is still alive was unbearable for Tarzan. But for our good reader this is cause for a thrilling chill -- for this promises a renewed slaughter of the Huns. First a few detours follow that heighten the suspense:
One night Tarzan creeps into a German camp and finds a German officer who is sleeping all alone in his tent.Gently he shook the man by the shoulder. The fellow turned heavily and grunted in a thick guttural.First the man is grunting then he trembles. It is characteristic that there is not a single figure amongst the Germans that behaves like a man. But that's the way they are, those Boches! Tarzan learns from this Luberg that captain Schneider has been sent to Wilhelmstal.
"Silence!" admonished the ape-man in a low whisper. "Silence -- I kill."
The Hun opened his eyes. In the dim light he saw a giant figure bending over him. Now a mighty hand grasped his shoulder and another closed lightly about his throat.
"Make no outcry," commanded Tarzan; "but answer in a whisper my questions. What is your name?"
"Luberg," replied the officer. He was trembling. The weird presence of this naked giant filled him with dread."I shall not kill you -- now," said the ape-man. "First I shall go and learn if you have lied to me and if you have your death shall be the more terrible. Do you know how Major Schneider died?"The officer is permitted to remain alive, for the time being -- an almost amazing sign of moderation in Tarzan -- who now makes his way to Wilhelmstal.
Luberg shook his head negatively.
"I do," continued Tarzan, "and it was not a nice way to die -even for an accursed German.
Now Miss Kircher is presented to us in the midst of the jungle. She is the first Hun-type that shows some sympathetic traits -- and it is easy to imagine the fury of the German-eating reader that something like that is being presented to him. All the more pleasantly will he be surprised at the end of the book -- but we will tell you right away -- that this Miss Kircher is not a German spy but an English one. With that even the slightest suspicion is removed from Mr. Burroughs that he might have endeavored somehow to distribute light and shadow a little more evenly in order to avoid producing an entirely one-sided, biased work of the most evil kind.
Only thus is it to be explained that the author can say about the girl:Bertha Kircher was no coward . . .Bertha Kircher also wants to go to Wilhelmstal. But she loses her way in the jungle and must spend the night there amongst the horrors of the wilderness. Frequently she is awakened by the roar of a lion which seems to come nearer and nearer -- but finally she falls asleep and nothing happens to her until the next morning. But now the moment has come: just as she wants to ride off, a giant lion leaps at her, crushes and mangles the horse, and growls furiously at her from time to time, while she is lying helplessly pinned under the horse. Undoubtedly an unpleasant situation from which normally no salvation would be possible But the hardened Tarzan-reader no longer loses his cool by such trifles. Now the right, last moment has arrived when Tarzan may appear as the saviour - and well, there he is:
It filled her with sorrow that her poor horse must go waterless, for even German spies may have hearts. . . .His face was a picture of frightful rage incarnate. For a moment neither moved and then from behind her the girl heard a human voice uttering bestial sounds.Don't worry for a second that Tarzan might want to save this female Hun because of any pity for her. But the charm of the situation is even heightened:
Numa suddenly looked up from the girl's face at the thing beyond her. His growls increased to roars as he drew back, ripping the front of the girl's waist almost from her body with his long talons, exposing her white bosom, which through some miracle of chance the great claws did not touch.
Tarzan of the Apes had witnessed the entire encounter from the moment that Numa had leaped upon his prey. For some time before, he had been watching the girl, and after the lion attacked her he had at first been minded to let Numa have his way with her. What was she but a hated German and a spy besides? He had seen her at General Kraut's headquarters, in conference with the German staff and again he had seen her within the British lines masquerading as a British officer. It was the latter thought that prompted him to interfere.
Doubtless General Jan Smuts would be glad to meet and question her. She might be forced to divulge information of value to the British commander before Smuts had her shot.Tarzan had recognized not only the girl, but the lion as well. All lions may look alike to you and me; but not so to their intimates of the jungle. Each has his individual characteristics of face and form and gaitA grotesque glance back:Tarzan recognized Numa as he whom he had muzzled with the hide of Horta, the boar -- as he whom he handled by a rope for two days and finally loosed in a German front-line trench, and he knew that Numa would recognize him -- that he would remember the sharp spear that had goaded him into submission and obedience and Tarzan hoped that the lesson he had learned still remained with the lion.And thus Tarzan comes forward, threatening the lion in the language of the Big Apes -- and the smart lion pulls in his tail and withdraws. Bertha Kircher is dumbfounded -- of course. And Tarzan withdraws with her from the scene, leaving the lion with the dead horse.
The girl is enchanted:It was so wonderful -- you did not seem to fear the frightful creature in the least; yet he was afraid of you. Who are you?"He snatches the locket away from the girl-spy, but can not find out from where she had obtained it. Now he wants to take her to headquarters. She does not like the idea. She is walking behind him and is ready to shoot him. But in the moment she changes her mind (this magnanimity should already be a hint that she is nothing but a pseudo-hun) and she hits Tarzan over the head with her gun, so that he falls unconscious to the ground.
"He knows me," replied Tarzan, grimly -- "that is why he fears me."
He was standing facing the girl now and for the first time he had a chance to look at her squarely and closely. She was very beautiful -- that was undeniable; but Tarzan realized her beauty only in a subconscious way. It was superficial -- it did not color her soul which must be black as sin. She was German -- a German spy. He hated her and desired only to compass her destruction; but he would choose the manner so that it would work most grievously against the enemy cause.
He saw her naked breasts where Numa had torn her clothing from her and dangling there against the soft, white flesh he saw that which brought a sudden scowl of surprise and anger to his face -- the diamond-studded, golden locket of his youth -- the love token that had been stolen from the breast of his mate by Schneider, the Hun.
Thus ends the fifth chapter once again with an intriguing new entanglement of the situation. And the sixth chapter begins whose title lets us divine a new aspect of Tarzan's noble heart. The title is:
CHAPTER SIX: Vengeance and Mercy
That is to say: vengeance at the hun-captain and mercy for the German girl spy. (Who in reality is an English spy. Which explains sufficiently all her good traits.)
For the time being Tarzan is lying unconscious in the wilderness. Certainly not a pleasant situation when any moment a wild animal might come strolling by. And sure enough, there is a wild panther creeping upon the scene. It sees the unconscious body -- and it is just about to tear it apart -- when (not a moment too soon, but neither too late -- a recurrent leitmotiv without which the Tarzan-stories would already be over after the second chapter of the first volume) -- well, when there comes Numa, the lion. Namely Tarzan's lion. The same one he had given such a bad time. As the author repeatedly emphasizes, nobody (except Mr. Burroughs himself) can know what is going on inside a lion's brain. To make a long story short, the lion is outraged that the panther dares "molest the master of the lion." He crushes the panther and then proceeds to lick Tarzan's face, until the latter regains consciousness and recognizes the lion. A welcoming scene. Then the ape-man discovers that the girl spy has taken away the locket from him once again and he makes off straightway toward Wilhelmstal.
Here a German officer is killed off quickly and Tarzan slips into his uniform. This enables him to move about unhindered through the camp. He locates the hotel where the captain is supposed to live. And sure enough, through the door of a room he overhears a conversation which tells him that captain Schneider and Bertha Kircher are just conversing with each other. (To converse and to entertain are the same word in German. W.A.) And how can a hun-captain entertain himself with a woman? Only by trying to rape her, for the brutality of these Boches won't respect even their own women compatriots.It was then that Tarzan of the Apes opened the door and stepped into the room. What he saw was a huge, bull-necked German officer with one arm about the waist of Fraulein Berth Kircher and a hand upon her forehead pushing her head back as he tried to kiss her on the mouth. The girl was struggling against the great brute; but her efforts were futile. Slowly the man's lips were coming closer to hers and slowly, step by step, she was being carried backward.And now comes the moment so eagerly longed for by thousands and thousands of hearts.
Schneider heard the noise of the opening and closing door behind him and turned. At sight of this strange officer he dropped the girl and straightened up.
"What is the meaning of this intrusion, Lieutenant?" he demanded, noting the other's epaulettes. "Leave the room at once."Tarzan made no articulate reply; but the two there with him heard a low growl break from those firm lips -- a growl that sent a shudder through the frame of the girl and brought a pallor to the red face of the Hun and his hand to his pistol but even as he drew his weapon it was wrested from him and hurled through the blind and window to the yard beyond. Then Tarzan backed against the door and slowly removed the uniform coat.Any other person would in such a case have tried to render his opponent harmless. But not the Boche in his cowardice:
"You are Hauptmann Schneider," he said to the German.
"What of it?" growled the latter.
"I am Tarzan of the Apes," replied the ape-man. "Now you know why I intrude."
"What do you want of me?" demanded Schneider.
"You are going to pay the price for the thing you did at the little bungalow in the Waziri country," replied the ape-man.
The Hun ceased blustering and began to plead. "I have a wife and children at home," he cried. "I have done nothing," I --"
"You are going to die as befits your kind," said Tarzan, "with blood on your hands and a lie on your lips." He started across the room toward the burly Hauptmann. Schneider was a large and powerful man -- about the height of the ape-man but much heavier. He saw that neither threats nor pleas would avail him and so he prepared to fight as a cornered rat fights for its life with all the maniacal rage, cunning, and ferocity that the first law of nature imparts to many beasts.
Lowering his bull head he charged for the ape-man and in the center of the floor the two clinched. There they stood locked and swaying for a moment until Tarzan succeeded in forcing his antagonist backward over a table which crashed to the floor, splintered by the weight of the two heavy bodies.
The girl stood watching the battle with wide eyes. She saw the two men rolling hither and thither across the floor and she heard with horror the low growls that came from the lips of the naked giant. Schneider was trying to reach his foe's throat with his fingers while, horror of horrors, Berth Kircher could see that the other was searching for the German's jugular with his teeth!
Schneider seemed to realize this too, for he redoubled his efforts to escape and finally succeeded in rolling over on top of the ape-man and breaking away.Leaping to his feet he ran for the window; but the ape-man was too quick for him and before he could leap through the sash a heavy hand fell upon his shoulder and he was jerked back and hurled across the room to the opposite wall. There Tarzan followed him, and once again they locked, dealing each other terrific blows, until Schneider in a piercing voice screamed, "Kamerad! Kamerad!"Now we find out the manner in which Mr. Burroughs and the Hun officer had brought death to the woman in Tarzan's hut. (See Chapter I: Murder and Pillage.)
Tarzan grasped the man by the throat and drew his hunting knife. Schneider's back was against the wall so that though his knees wobbled he was held erect by the ape-man. Tarzan brought the sharp point to the lower part of the German's abdomen.
"Thus you slew my mate," he hissed in a terrible voice. "Thus shall you die!"The girl staggered forward. "Oh, God, no!" she cried. "Not that. You are too brave -- you cannot be such a beast as that!"Here the rare case happens when Tarzan acted a moment too soon. For if only he had let the Hun utter the last word that is indicated by a blank a heavy burden would have been lifted from his soul as well as of that of the reader.
Tarzan turned at her. "No," he said, "you are right, I cannot do it -- I am no German," and he raised the point of his blade and sunk it deep into the putrid heart of Hauptmann Fritz Schneider, putting a bloody period to the Hun's last gasping cry: "I did not do it! She is not --"
Now he reveals the nobility of his heart in front of Miss Kircher:"I came for you, too," he said. "It would be difficult to take you back from here and so I was going to kill you, as I have sworn to kill all your kind; but you were right when you said that I was not such a beast as that slayer of women. I could not slay him as he slew mine, nor can I slay you, who are a woman."Thus he spoke and then he disappeared, after having quickly taken away his wife's locket from the dead man's body. With that the sixth chapter comes to an end the same as Tarzan's mission of revenge. Most likely motivated by the feeling that any further German baiting of the same crudeness might get on the nerves of even the most intense German hater, the author now enters a different area and limits himself only to occasional remarks on the subject of the Boches.
Nevertheless, some details from the following text are sufficiently characteristic to deserve being mentioned briefly.
CHAPTER SEVEN: When Blood Told
To begin with it is stated:Tarzan of the Apes was disgusted. He had had the German spy, Berth Kircher, in his power and had left her unscathed. It is true that he had slain Hauptmann Fritz Schneider, that Underlieutenant von Goss had died at his hands, and that he had otherwise wreaked vengeance upon the men of the German company who had murdered, pillaged, and raped at Tarzan's bungalow in the Waziri country. There was still another officer to be accounted for, but him he could not find. It was Lieutenant Obergatz he still sought, though vainly, for at last he learned that the man had been sent upon some special mission, whether in Africa or back to Europe Tarzan's informant either did not know or would not divulge.It's a good thing at that for thus Tarzan is given an opportunity for a continued chase of the Huns in the eight volume of the series (Tarzan the Terrible).
Well, Tarzan is disgusted to have spared Bertha Kircher's life. But he is longing for his childhood home and the great apes of his tribe; thus he is willing to forget all about the Hun-girl and the war and proceeds straight toward the coastal region which necessitates traversing a totally hostile desert region. He is hungry, thirsty, and exhausted and finally falls victim of some kind of insanity:The hills were now but a dim, ill-defined blur ahead.
Sometimes he forgot that they were hills, and again he wondered vaguely why he must go on forever through all this torture endeavoring to overtake them -- the fleeing, elusive hills. Presently he began to hate them and there formed within his half-delirious brain the hallucination that the hills were German hills, that they had slain someone dear to him, whom he could never quite recall, and that he was pursuing to slay them.
This idea, growing, appeared to give him strength -- a new and revivifying purpose -- so that for a time he no longer staggered; but went forward steadily with head erect.
Fortunately Tarzan reaches eventually a fertile region. On one of his excursions through the region he notices a troop of black, German soldiers who had mutineered and then fled into the inaccessible wilderness of the jungle. They have with them a number of black women; and besides also: Bertha Kircher who was spared being raped by the blacks only because of the constant jealous vigilance of the black women over their men. The leader of the troop is a corporal by the name of Usanga. When first seeing her Tarzan feels the urge to liberate the girl, but then he gets to thinking that she is a German after all and even worse, a spy, and therefore, he decides to have done his share when he did not kill her, but not to care what others have in store for her.That her fate would now be infinitely more horrible than the quick and painless death that the ape-man would have meted to her only interested Tarzan to the extent that the more frightful the end of a German the more in keeping it would be with what they all deserved.Now begins a repetition of several scenes already contained in earlier Tarzan volumes. Thus some natives are caught like fish with a fishing rod by Tarzan who is hidden high up in the trees.
The mutineers reach a negro village and here Bertha Kircher just barely escapes being raped by a black. She flees and reaches a small clearing where the gig apes are just performing a dance. Tarzan comes upon the scene, conquers the king of the apes in his usual manner and is permitted to participate in the apes' tribal dance.
In the next days that follow Tarzan sets out on a raid of the negro village, but falls out of a tree amongst the blacks who capture him. He is supposed to be eaten the next day together with an English officer of the Royal Air Force, who had been taken prisoner by the blacks, too.
Of course, the apes arrive just in time in order to free the two. It is unnecessary to discuss in detail the rest of the action, which again is mostly a reiteration of earlier Tarzan books.
A new nuance is introduced by by an aeroplane with which Bertha Kircher and the Englishman are trying to escape, when once again they are captured by the blacks, whose chieftain learns to fly and is just about to fly off with the girl, when in the last moment Tarzan happens upon the scene, throws a lasso to the girl spy, climbs up on the lasso, throws the negro out of the cockpit, orders the girl to seize the stick, and has her fly right into the negroes, kills all of them and thus saves the Englishman from a certain death.
And now as the crowning glory of the whole story comes a description of an insane city. Both the Englishman and the girl, who had intended to fly to the coast, make a crash landing. Tarzan observes the crash landing and starts out to save the two. And all three come upon a strange people, that is composed entirely of insanes, who exhaust themselves in senseless activities, idolize and old parrot as their highest god, keep tame lions as house pets and feed exclusively on fattened lions. (This is a fact!)
Finally the whole story takes a form as if it had been written by an insane man. Just listen:
A two-man escort comes to take Bertha Kircher to the king. While she is waiting in the antechamber of the throne room to be admitted for an audience with the king, his son Metak sees her and suddenly wants to have her for himself and drags her simply away.
Tarzan manages to save himself from a lion by climbing onto the city wall. From there he makes his way onto the flat roof of a house where he is attacked by an inhabitant who had observed Tarzan being pursued by the lion. Tarzan fend s off the attacker and strangles him. He puts on the dead man's clothes in order to carry out his investigations of the city hoping to remain unrecognized.
Through an opening he climbs down from the roof into the interior of the house and reaches the street without being noticed. Then he begins to search for a trace of the two lost people. During his search he is struck by the peculiar behaviour of this town's inhabitants; such as a woman crawling along the street; or two men who start quarreling on a roof top, where finally the victor simply throws his opponent down into the road and then follows him by jumping off the roof.
The English lieutenant, who had been wounded during a fight, faints inside an enclosure in which lions are kept. As he is regaining consciousness he sees a lion bent over his face. With a great effort the Englishman overcomes his fear of the lion, gets up whereupon the lion walks away. The English lieutenant is intent on fleeing from the lions' den and notices a tree whose branches are almost touching the windows of a house. He believes it possible to get to the window and into the rom beyond the window. He climbs on the tree and reaches a room which at first seems to be unoccupied. But soon a curtain is parted and a girl steps from a hidden alcove. Like all the females of this city she has a beautiful figure and voice but the features of a cretin. She at once becomes enamored of the British officer. She approaches him immediately embracing and kissing him passionately. The young lieutenant plays along in the hope to be able to use her help later on during his escape. But unexpectedly a man enters the room who at once begins to attack the lieutenant with his sword. The lieutenant shoots and kills him with his pistol. The girl insists that the Englishman should help her hide the corpse under a bed inside the alcove. She begins immediately again to shower him with her attentions. There is a knock at the door and she hides the lieutenant in a niche that is screened off the room by heavy drapes. The new arrival starts a conversation with the girl in the incomprehensible tongue of his people. The Englishman observes them through a chink in the curtain and becomes aware that the girl is giving his presence away to the new arrival. The latter draws his sword and thrusts it violently through he curtain in order to kill the hidden Englishman. (Now follows a pause for effect.)
Metak is running through the corridors of the king's palace, while carrying Bertha Kircher in his arms. The insane abductor cannot find an exit in his confusion and keeps running back and forth in aimless manner. Finally he comes to the throne hall of the king, where the king himself is present with numerous heavily armed men. These pursue Metak who immediately had turned to escape. The chase is carried on with a great deal of commotion. The fleeing Metak and his captive reach a subterranean chamber with a pond at its centre. Metak jumps into this pond dragging the girl with him and disappears under the water for good. (Another pause for effect.)
In the meantime the lieutenant discovers a wooden door through which he manages to escape from the niche, just in time to avoid being killed by hi persecutor's sword thrust. Soon he and Tarzan meet again.
Both decide to join forces in their search for the young girl. However, the lieutenant will need some disguise to avoid detection. The Englishman thinks of the man he had killed and therefore they decide to return to the room and get his clothes. They make their way back to the room by retracing the Englishman's steps and reach the same niche without being noticed. Tarzan peers through the aperture in the heavy curtain and sees the couple dining at a table. A negro slave waits on them and Tarzan recognizes the negro's tribe. Tarzan finds an opportunity to engage the slave in a conversation which goes unnoticed by the dining couple.
With Otobu's help they overwhelm the girl and her lover, whom they disarm. They pull the dead man that the Englishman had killed earlier from under the couch and the lieutenant changes clothes. Suddenly there is loud knock at the door of the room. tarzan and the lieutenant run from the niche into the room and conclude that several men are about to knock down the door within a few moments. Nothing remains but flight via the same way the lieutenant had taken once before: namely through the secret door in the niche. They return to the alcove where they find Otobu lying on the floor apparently dead. The captured couple has disappeared. (Another pause for effect.)
Metak had dived underneath the surface of the pond and had swum on with Bertha Kircher in his grasp. They surface again in a subterranean canal, then swim along until they reach its end. There they dive again and the two reappear in a lagoon outside the building Metak steps ashore with his prisoner and makes his way to another building, dragging along Bertha Kircher. They climb some stairs accompanied by several soldiers. They knock at the door. Since there is no response the soldier start battering down the door. These then are the people that had caused Tarzan and the Englishman to flee from the alcove through the secret door.
As Metak and his men enter the room they find the man that the lieutenant had killed as well as the lifeless body of the negro. The soldiers leave and Metak advances toward the girl. She defends herself with the negro's spear. But Metak throws a chair at her which causes her to fall down on the couch. Metak begins to attack her. (Another pause for effect.)
Tarzan and his companion cannot continue their flight from this house since they find their way barred by the trap door leading to the roof. They return to the alcove, and as usual Tarzan arrives just in the nick of time to save the girl from the hands of Metak. A terrible wrestling match ensues and finally tArzan succeeds in throwing the gigantic son of the king out of the window.
In the meantime, Otobu, who had only fainted, has regained consciousness. Now all the four people set out to leave the city. They reach the gate in the city wall where they are already expected by the guards of the gate. They ahd been informed of the fugitives' approach by some parrots. Never the less, the four escapees manage to overwhelm the guard with the help of the black lion that had once been freed from a trap by Tarzan. The lion had crept into the city this very night. The fugitives reach the area beyond the wall. But an alarm is sounded in the city, the moment their ill deeds had been discovered: the citizens begin the pursuit.
They are hot on the fugitives' heels, who seem to be doomed to defeat. But there is a valid reason why the last chapter is entitled "The Tommies." IN the very last moment the brave English boys, the Tommies arrive upon the scene, free Tarzan and his companions and thus bring about a satisfying happy end for the patriotic feelings of any good Germaneater. To remove the last shadow from the gay picture Tarzan learns from Schneider's journal that his wife had not been killed by the Germans; they had only captured her. The dead woman in the first chapter was a skillfully draped negress. This all results in a marvelous transition for a new Tarzan volume.
And since Bertha Kircher turns out to be Lady Patricia Canby, an English spy and furthermore becomes engaged to Oldwick, the English lieutenant, the volume comes to an end to everyone's complete satisfaction.
Now it might be possible that one or the other of the readers still would like to know why the inhabitants of that city had become insane. Mr. Burroughs does not make this sufficiently clear. But I can tell the secret somehow. This is how it came about:
Originally the inhabitants of the city had been quite upright and entirely normal people that lived a quiet and satisfying life. Only rarely did they find any books or newspapers within their reach. Prophets and apostles of progress were entirely unknown to them and there was nothing that would rouse them from their comfortable equanimity. Until one day an enterprising publisher had the great idea -- to bring out a translation of the Tarzan books. Of course, only the first six, since the seventh had not yet been written. The six volumes were published and were publicized and distributed amongst the good people with splendid skill and with the help of extraordinary suggestive powers.
From all corners Tarzan posters stared down at them, all the newspapers brought lavish praise of Tarzan, honorable citizens arose and declared that everybody simply had to have read Tarzan . And the good citizens who were exposed to the strength of this onslaught fell into a veritable Tarzan craze. All talked aboiut Tarzan and you could not hear anything else but Tarzan. Dad read it aloud to mom, and mom read it to dad, great grandma to the kid and the kid to great grandma, the young man to the girl of his heart and the maiden to the man of her choice -- everybody, everybody read out Tarzan aloud. Only one thing existed for young and old: Tarzan. Yet there was the danger that there was no other diversion for these good people, there was nothing that could have taken the place of the Tarzan books after a while.
And thus the great tragedy came about: an addict who had devoured the whole series in insatiable voracity for the sixty-seventh time jumped out of bed one night seized his poor unsuspecting grandmother by the neck and bit right through her throat. Then he placed his foot upon the corpse and uttered a horrible cry of victory that could be heard throughout the city. This cry was like a signal that threw off the fetters of the already present insanity. Here and there sounded a similar reply, and barely fifteen minutes later the entire population was busy killing each other by biting or strangling or otherwise by climbing up the walls of the houses, jumping across rooftops, uttering inarticulate sounds, from which you could occasionally make out the word "Kagoda." The Tarzan-craze had come into being, insanity had broken out. Within a short time the former quiet and orderly town had turned into a confused and crazy madhouse. The return to the animal that was so h highly praised by Tarzan took place very rapidly. There was only one thing lacking for the people: the daily lion for all occasions. So they started to breed and fatten lions, and could have their daily lion and also occasionally strangle a lion with their bare hands (if the lion went along with it, of course.) Wrestling matches with lions were considered the most favourite Sunday entertainments. Otherwise the entire population was seized soon by such insane, wild brutality, and it must be assured that they will return sooner or later back again to the stage of the apes.
If the reader should regard this explanation as unbelievable, then he should peruse the contents of the last chapters of "Tarzan the Untamed" about fifty times in an attentive manner. By then his doubts should have vanished.
A final word now to the Tarzan stories. It can not be denied that the first volume was made very skillfully. Yet a simple comparison with Kipling's "Jungle Book" shows of course the difference between the work of a writer and a craftily constructed penny-dreadful. The success of the first book suggested of course a continuation of the series, which however led to a constant repetition of many scenes. When eventually the author lost his steam and the reader his patience, the former seized the conveniently handy opportunity of "hate-the-huns" and joined the campaign of calumnies, certain in his assumption of meeting this way his readers' taste. This is quite natural and comprehensible. But it is less comprehensible why just this fabrication was offered the German people, and even worse in a grandiose staging. If Germany could have produced only a single inflammatory work of similarly low caliber, then nobody in either England d or France would have dared to present the book series in question, nor any other of this author's works to the general public.
Since, however, this has already happened in our country, only one solution seems advisable: Let Mr. Burroughs' name and his work sink into silence and total oblivion. But this will not happen here apparently. They have already announced a series by the same author which will take place on Mars. And in addition to that the following letter by Mr. Burroughs is publicized as an attempt to apologize (a poor excuse for an apology, another possible interpretation of this passage. W.A.) In this letter Mr. Burroughs almost seems to poke fun at the Germans. The letter is dated February 9, 1925 and beats about the bush after an introductory pronouncement that the enmity between the Northern and the Southern States of America was once upon a time just as great as the embitterment during the World War, and that the former have been smoothed over just as the latter won't fail doing in due time. Here is quote from this letter:If excerpts from "Tarzan the Untamed" are taken as prima facio evidence of my dislike of all Germans, and it it should be assumed even by a small proportion of the German people that I reflect in any way the sentiments of my fellow Americans it is only fair to explain that no such assumption is warranted by facts.Except for the above mentioned quotes that in any case could only be characterized as facts.
The above contorted explanation is a painful attempt to find a way out from between two facts: on the one hand the undeniable and slander of the German people, and on the other hand the desire for further royalties from the German editions of his works. If, despite those nasty statements the author "can like" the Germans, would only prove that we are dealing here in "Tarzan the Untamed" with an unprincipled exploitation of a current boom. We may easily conclude therefore that the other works of such an author will not contribute to raise the ethical standards of the reader. Though admittedly authors of rank have become involved in the fight between nations during the war -- but they exercised criticism according to their own point of view and they did not write such opportunistic drivel. A continued flooding of the German market with Mr. Burroughs' books would simply be despicable and undignified for a nation thus insulted by him.
This concludes the demonstration of a characteristic example of the manner in which hatred was incited and still is partially done so today. It is the same spirit that defends that even now in times of peace a tight rein should be kept on some German regions by negro soldiers; the same spirit that systematically opposes any understanding amongst nations -- and opportunistic spirit devoid of scruples, that will only welcome a mutual destruction of the peoples of the world, since it affords an opportunity to make money from it. Mutual understanding and mutual appreciation of the nations -- as urgent as they might t be in order to save mankind from the misery the last decade -- will never be achieved as long as there will be books of this type of "Tarzan the Untamed."
In order to comprehend fully their effect one must visualize that hundreds of thousands of readers absorb unthinkingly the hatred contained in such books. We simply and unavoidably will have wars again and again as long as there exist people of the type of a Mr. Burroughs.
Some of the especially characteristic parts of the anti-German passages quoted in this booklet are reproduced here in the original English of the original Tarzan the Untamed by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Since these quotes do not represent the entirety of the passages translated form the English into German by Stefan von Sorel in his "Tarzan the Germaneater" I quoted these portions in their entirety from the Ballantine Books edition, 1963. (W.A.)
I tried to render as literal a translation as possible, sacrificing style to exactness. The author's language is stilted and sloppy at the same time. He uses a great deal of clichés and slang that is almost untranslatable, making many references that, of course, would have meaning only for a native familiar with certain allusions. (W.A.)
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